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Cisco, Google and SAP interested in BlackBerry

Cisco, Google and SAP are all in talks with BlackBerry to take a piece of the pie in a scenario that would see the Canadian company split up.

Reuters report that the deal, which is on the table as an alternative to the one offered by BlackBerry shareholder Fairfax Financial, would see companies take different parts of the company with the server network and patent portfolio of particular interest.

Intel, LG and Samsung are among the other parties that are believed to be interested in taking a slice of BlackBerry with the firm requesting that preliminary expressions of interest be submitted by early this week.

Sources told Reuters the major technology firms expressing an interest are mainly interested in the server network and patents, though those bidding have doubts about how valuable the assets still are.

BlackBerry acting quick to secure a sale is no surprise with analysts stating last week that the value of its patent portfolio and licensing business will halve in the next 18 months.

Its services business that powers the security-focused messaging system is currently worth between $3 billion [£1.87 billion] and $4.5 billion [£2.8 billion], and its patents are believed to be worth between $2 billion [£1.24 billion] and $3 billion [£1.87 billion].

In addition to this it has around $3.1 billion [£1.93 billion] in cash and investments with Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu predicting BlackBerry will get through around $2 billion [£1.24 billion] of that cash in the next 18 months.

Several private equity companies are also interested in BlackBerry, including Cerberus Capital Management, with two sources stating that it has asked the company to provide additional financial details about BlackBerry’s business.

The front runner remains BlackBerry’s largest individual shareholder Fairfax Financial, which secured a preliminary agreement some weeks ago to take the company private as part of a $4.7 billion [£2.92 billion] deal.